Skiing Vacation, part 2

Our last full day up in the mountains was on Valentine’s day.  Because that also happens to be my birthday, I was hoping to ski with my girls and get my free birthday lift ticket… didn’t happen.  But, I was totally ok with it.  You see, the cabin we stayed in was so charming; old, old floors and windows mixed with some modern touches — it was awesome.  But, the beds were tiny and the kids woke-up a ton.  Needless-to-say, not much sleep was happening, and we all needed a restful day.

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Daniel made us all breakfast, again, and decorated the table with cards and chocolates for the girls.  I still have all of their “daddy Valentines” from their first ever V-days.

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My Valentine to the girls was a “Crush.”  I remember having these in high school as Valentine’s — couldn’t resist a classic!

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Daniel made chocolate-covered strawberries to put in the fridge for after dinner… good thing he had helpers!

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And one sweet boy who was not so fond of the white chocolate!

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In place of skiing that day, we went for a family walk.  That s always one of my favorite activities.

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There is an “old-fashioned mini-town” we came across that was fun to walk through.

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That afternoon, Malachi took a nap and Sierra watched a movie while Daniel took the big girls sledding again, and I read a book.  The girls came back with their “ice sculptures” they made once they tired of sledding.  Meet the pig (A), the duck (D), and the deer (N).

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This picture CRACKS ME UP!

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We ended the night with an incredible dinner and, of course, our strawberries.

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(Here the girls are trying to think of a toast to me prompted by their dad — they couldn’t think of anything.  Ha!)

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Goodbye fun cabin!  We may have to make this a tradition!

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Skiing Vacation, part 1

34 minutes.  Door-to-door.  That’s it!  Seriously, though, it felt like a world away.  We spent this past week in Wrightwood for a little mini getaway.  Before leaving, I was a bit overwhelmed with the packing and preparing to stay in a cabin for 4 days with 4 little ones.  I am happy to report, it was SO worth it!

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We arrived to a yard filled with snow.  Looking ahead to the forecast, I warned the girls it may be all gone by the day we left.  Sure enough, much of it did melt over the next four days!

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We didn’t have time for much at the cabin, except to eat lunch and put on our snow clothes… then it was off to the ski lift, just 5 minutes away!

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This is what we did with the little ones for the few hours that Natalie and Allison took lessons.

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They put Allison in the intermediate class, despite it being her first time, simply because she is 7.  That meant she got to do the chair lift and even go down a blue hill!  She did super.

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Natalie also took to it right away and did great.  I’m thinking the rollerblades and ice skating times were a huge help!

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All that snow play wore our little buddy out!

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Back at the cabin we had a movie…

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…And, some hot chocolate!

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The next day, the girls were excited to color their Valentine pictures from Grandma.  In fact, there were many hours spent coloring and painting at this table!

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There was also a lot of time spent playing in the snow out back…

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…And, perhaps a snowball fight from the deck down below.

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…And, the making of a snowman!

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Sierra found this doll and liked it. I think it was the hair!

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That afternoon we found the BEST sledding spot.  We spent a couple hours there, but I bet we could have been there even longer had a little curly top and a baby boy not been tired.

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We ended the night with s’mores.  The kids were pretty tired, but who could resist a s’more?!

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The end… of part 1!

Chinese New Year 2013

You would think that after being married 9 years I would remember that we have Chinese New Year to celebrate each year, but somehow I always forget.  When my husband reminds me, it is always a pleasant surprise.  I just love the food, the fun, and an excuse to spend time with family!!

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This year, being the year of the snake, I had the girls make snake table decorations.

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Once family arrived, the girls were ecstatic.  I just love how excited they get whenever family comes!

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Daniel made us tempura as an appetizer… because beef, pork, shrimp, sashimi, soup, rice, and veggies weren’t going to be enough!  (Ha!  We ate well for a few days!)

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My little nephews are so adorable… even if they are terrified of their big, white, blondie auntie!

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Both my brother and sister-in-laws have birthdays the beginning of February, so we sang and had cake for dessert,

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They also brought these incredible treats from their favorite bakery.  Nom Nom.  Happy New Year!

(And, on a totally random note, I just discovered that my initials CNY are the same as Chinese New Year — don’t ask me why I always think about these things!)

 

SNOW!

I was half-kidding, but couldn’t help myself from saying it… “I bet it will snow tonight!”  The girls were thrilled — I promised to wake them up if it came.  You see, we were driving home from ballet class and it was hailing and 37 degrees outside; not the usual February weather for Southern California!

Morning came and I forgot all about the snow comment; that is, until the girls looked outside and excitedly proclaimed it had snowed and I broke my promise!

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I didn’t get out to take pictures until it had been melting for a little while.  But still, can you believe it?  We even had snow and ice falling off our roof.  Last time it snowed here was 6 years ago.  Pretty exciting stuff!  And, just for the sake of contrast…

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Look at all those blossoms!  What season is it, again?  🙂

Ice Skating

As I mentioned yesterday, we are excitedly preparing for our trip to the snow next week.  So, this week we went ice skating!  (Actually, it had nothing to do with preparing for the snow and everything to do with an expiring Groupon, but hey –)  I was super excited to have an afternoon date with my 2 oldest!

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Aren’t they cute?  🙂

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The difference between this ice skating trip and Natalie’s birthday just 7 weeks earlier was amazing!  The roller blades have definitely made a huge difference in their ability to skate.  No falling or holding walls — just fun skating!

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And, did I mention we were the only ones there?  At least for the first half hour.. gotta love being homeschoolers!

Thankful Thursday Valentine Style

I know Valentine’s Day isn’t until next week, and it happens to fall on a Thursday, but… we won’t be here!  We will be up in the mountains relaxing, tubing, and hopefully teaching the big girls how to ski!  (Can’t tell you how excited I am — haven’t skiied in 14 years!)  So, it only seemed appropriate that today we did a Valentine-themed Thankful Thursday!

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I first made my favorite new recipe, which I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about, yet.  Not only are they deeeelicious, but incredibly easy to make, and even somewhat “healthy.”  I’ll share the recipe below.  I think this is the 4th week in a row I’ve made them! (Can we say “addicted?”)

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I put Natalie in charge of the centerpiece.  She did a lovely job!

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And, as if we don’t already have enough Valentine-themed decorations around here, I couldn’t resist buying these fat paper straws from Target.  Aren’t they fun?

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For the tea –er– hot chocolate –er– drink, I melted red candy melts along with a bit of hot chocolate mix.  Result?  Kids loved it — Daniel and I found it disgustingly sweet. 

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Sierra doesn’t like these yummy bars.  (She obviously doesn’t have my genes!)  So, she got a pink marshmallow, instead!

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Yummy “healthy” bars

1 cup peanut butter

2/3 cup honey

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 cups oats

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup rice crispies

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Mix the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil on low heat until melted.  dump in te rest of the ingredients and stir.  Pour onto a 9 x 11 or 8 x 8 inch pan ad put in the refrigerator to cool.  They need to be eaten right out of the fridge or else they’ll melt.  I’ve done both pan sizes — the smaller is, of course, thicker, but both are awesome.  The original recipe is from HERE.  Enjoy!!!

Valentine Crafting

It’s officially red, white, and pink around here.  With the Valentine decor finally in place, we thought it was time to add some new flair this year.  (Actually, we were just looking for an excuse to craft!)  Every Monday while the big girls are at piano, the little ones and I walk to a nearby park.  Sierra found some pinecones and wanted to decorate them, so that became our first Valentine craft!

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We also decided we need some Valentine pillows to brighten up the living room.  The girls are going to embroider them.  They’re in progress… (And, I made a reversible table runner; pics to come!)

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And, last but not least, we keep a lot of random Valentine craft supplies around.  They’re great for Sierra while we do school, but the older ones get excited, as well.  Here Natalie pulled out the Valentine stamps and requested I take a picture.  I love this little cutie; nice pose, Natalie!

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